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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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A grievance has been submitted against myself and other members

Resolved Question:

A grievance has been submitted against myself and other members of my team.
This was submitted 4 months ago, I have not been told exactly what the grievance is about that includes me but the other part of the grievance that some of my Team have been bullying.
We have all had an informal meeting and since then I have taken ill with work related stressful to this complaint as I have never had a grievance complaint in all of my 30 years of being a manager.
I put a grievance letter in to the Region manager of how it was managed and not handled professionally .
My employers have written to me to ask me to attend a fact finding meeting, and if I could not attend because of my ill health they would put the fact finding in writing nod post it too me.
Since I have been off sick I have been asked to talk to a Occupational work therapist, it was agreed that I would be quite happy to answer the question in relation the grievance.
I have further correspondence from the HR department stating that the FTC finding would be lead by an independent site director.
I have received the questions in the post and I am deeply concerned off the way this has been conducted, here of my reasons
- the fact finding questions are exactly the same as my informal meeting by my site director
- in the grievance that has been submitted by this person put in that I rostered a shift in that put this person on a back to back shift, it was an over sight on my part which I then told this person to come in later, so this meant she would meet the working time directive.
I have been told that they have dropped this complaint regarding th breach and are not taking further action.
In my fact finding they have mentioned this again but have stated they need to understand my reaction to what I did about it at the time it was mentioned by this person. My question would be do I need to answer this as it is not relevant?
- there are two separate questions but the number 25 is listed for both questions.
- there is 3 questions that have been added on to the fact finding that has no relevant to the grievance but has been continued on.
My question would be that how would this independent site director know about this unless my site director has told him, these 3 other issues has been while I have been absent from work.
It has been brought to my attention recently that the my other colleagues that have had this grievance put in for bullying, there has only been a formal meeting and no fact finding bias taken place, they have been told on a one to one no further action.
My history regarding this site director is that I have placed 3 grievances over the last 4 years and no further action has been taken against how sh has treated me.
I do feel that I am being unfairly treated regarding this as the person that has put a grievance in has never spoken to me about any of complaint in the pass only 2 conversations has taken place where she has mentioned about a particular member of my team not having the patient with her whilst training, I have had no other reason to say this was a complaint That lead to me believe that inshould have taken this seriously as this person wanted to sort it out herself.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. firstly can you please tell me how long you have been in employment with the company and has the grievance been completely dropped against all of the team please.

JACUSTOMER-ht0okr5d- : 5 years and yes individuals have been told no further action. All they have received is an informal meeting no fact finding.
Ben Jones :

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in a tribunal today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you this evening. There is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you

JACUSTOMER-ht0okr5d- : Thanks Ben
JACUSTOMER-ht0okr5d- : Apologies for the missed words, just read what I have typed
Ben Jones :

Thanks for your patience. When an investigatory hearing like this one is conducted the employer is free to ask whatever questions it believes are necessary to allow it to conduct a reasonable investigation. If you strongly believe that the questions are not relevant to the allegations you are facing then you can state your reasons for not wishing to answer these and bring this to the employer’s attention. However, if the answer to these questions cannot implicate you any further then you could still answer them and the employer could then decide if they are relevant or not.

Also the fact that the same questions have been asked does not necessarily make this unfair. Whilst an independent person could lead the investigation it does not mean that they cannot get current details from the people who have been involved so far. The independency of this person would be when the results of the investigation are considered and the decision that they make. So it is not so important what questions they ask and whether they have been asked before, but how the information from the investigation is used and what they decide based on it.

Finally, the person making the complaint is not required to speak to you about the issues before making a complaint. There could be various reasons for this, for example they may feel intimidated or uncomfortable in raising this directly with you. That is why the grievance process exists and they would not be doing anything wrong by going directly down that route, rather than talking to you first.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

JACUSTOMER-ht0okr5d- : Hi Ben and thank you for the reply.
JACUSTOMER-ht0okr5d- :

Try again?

JACUSTOMER-ht0okr5d- :

Hi Ben and thank you for you're reply. Can I just clarify? Its ok for an independent to ask their own questions relating to a specific grievance and also include questions from others that have nothing to do with the grievance? How do they claim that is independent? Also, the OT that they employed stated that I was happy to answer questions relating to the grievance only? If they decide to discipline me for whatever reason they see fit, could I appeal on the grounds that the investigation obviously wasn't independent?

JACUSTOMER-ht0okr5d- : HI Ben again! Can I also just clarify, I am on official holiday as of this Sunday for 3 weeks. This means my return to work is 29th March 2015,. I already have a disciplinary on file that runs out on 28th March 2015 (given the last time I put a grievance in about my manager). Can my employer discipline me whilst I am on holiday or do they have to wait until my return? Can they date the grievance prior to the existing warning running out therefore enabling them to either giving me a final written warning or terminating my contract altogether? I may be getting a little paranoid but they seem to be pretty keen to get this grievance sorted?
Ben Jones :

Hi it is acceptable for the investigating officer to ask whatever questions they feel are relevant, whether they are their own or from others - the independent factor comes when a decision is made on the outcome of the investigation. In any event the law does not stipulate that someone neutral has to conduct the investigation - that is the employer's choice so they would be able to make up their own rules in that respect. It is still possible to appeal on whatever grounds you want, including if you believed the investigation was flawed.

Ben Jones :

as to being disciplined whilst on holiday they should await your return if this was a prebooked holiday. The decision would stand from the date it was decided what the outcome would be, it can';t be backdated, so you are looking at the date the official disciplinary decision is made

Ben Jones :

If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

Ben Jones and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Ben, Do i understand then that the employer could make the decision whilst I am on holiday (before the 28th) and then inform me when im back at work what their decision was therefore still being able to take the existing disciplinary into consideration or can they only make a decision when im back from my holiday on the 29th? sorry but I need to be quite sure of the possibilities I could face.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
you have to attend the disciplinary hearing before a decision is made, if you are on holiday then the employer cannot hold the heating without you so they would have to wait for you to return and then hold the hearing, coming to a decision after that
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Brilliant, Your help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you so very much!

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
you are welcome, all the best

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